You can’t turn a corner in a retail store this time of year without running into the mass produced, over-stuffed, generic holiday basket. You know the ones that have the sausage logs and cheese spread, smell-em-goody toiletries or Santa-themed something. This year go against the flow of conventionality and make one as original as you are. The beauty of Bookmans is that we have something for everyone. Every Bookmans store can supply you with one-of-a-kind, never-thought-you’d-find, eccentric goodies that will fill a basket in no time and make the receiver grateful for your mad gift-giving skills.


Find a container. You want the basket to appear adequate and abundant. Don’t choose a container that’s too small because you won’t be able to make everything fit. If it’s too large it will appear skimpy. Also, the container doesn’t have to be a wicker basket it can be an old train case, vintage hat, the bell of a horn or the bottom half of an old globe. We like when the container speaks to the theme of the basket and serves a purpose after the goodies have been removed. Locate items that represent the receiver of the gift. You won’t break your budget for this unique collection of goods, especially if you are clever enough to use your trade credit.

Gather some treasures. If you feel overwhlemed by the possibilities limit yourself to one item from each section of the store to keep the basket diverse and interesting. A book, jewelry, Bob merchandise, a DVD, a CD, a magazine, a board game, housewares and a video game each on a theme. There are fun and interesting things waiting to be found at our stores. Ask a customer service representative for anything fun and funky around the store to add some flair and individuality to the basket. Once you have amassed a pile proportional to the basket size, get tissue paper or interesting newspaper, ribbon, a shrink wrap bag and glue dots (the last two can be found at a craft store). You’ll use the glue dots to defy gravity and the shrink wrap is super important to hold the items in place, especially during travel.

Load your basket. Fill the bottom of the basket with tissue paper or decorative filler so the products can be easily oggled. Large/tall items go in the back and stagger from back to front the largest items to smallest, that way nothing is blocking something from view. The items do not have to be level. Add visual interest by tilting them or putting them in the basket at an angle. This is when the glue dots come in handy. The dots allow you to stick an item at an angle it wouldn’t normally rest at. Once you have everything in its place, put the basket in the shrink wrap bag and follow the product instructions. Voila! Your gift is ready.

Thoughtful gifts are never a waste of time and show loved ones you not only care but can find a gift that honors their individuality. If all else fails a gift card will do the trick.

We compiled photos of how we put together the basket pictured in this post. Check them out on Flickr.